News

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit against God

Religion News Service reports that a judge has dismissed a Nebraska legislator's lawsuit against God, saying the Almighty could not be served notice of the litigation.

"Given that this court finds that there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant, this action will be dismissed with prejudice," wrote Douglas County District Court Judge Marlon Polk of Omaha, Neb., on October 14.

State Sen. Ernie Chambers had filed suit in 2007 to seek a permanent injunction against God, the Associated Press reported. He accused God of causing "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants." The law school graduate who never took the bar exam questioned the judge's ruling, the AP reported. "Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit," Chambers said. Chambers has 30 days to determine if he will appeal.

Religion Today Summaries

Congress Moves to Inform Mothers, Protect Unborn

A bill to protect the lives of unborn children diagnosed with disabilities has passed both chambers of Congress and is awaiting President Bush's signature.

The Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R.-Kansas) and Sen. Ted Kennedy,(D.-Massachusetts) would provide support and balanced information to parents who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other condition prenatally or until a year after birth.

The Senate passed the bill Sept. 23, and the House passed it two days later in what Brownback said was "a great victory for expecting parents who learn that their unborn child may be born with a disability."

The bill requires parents who receive a diagnosis of an impairment for their child be provided with the latest information on the condition and be informed of support services available. It also would establish a registry of families willing to adopt special needs children.

Studies indicate that in the United States, between 80 and 90 percent of children diagnosed in the womb with Down syndrome are aborted. A similar abortion percentage exists for unborn babies diagnosed with spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, and dwarfism, according to a release from Brownback's office.

Baptist Press

Somali Church Leader Assaulted in Ethiopia

ASSIST News Service reports that Islamic extremists beat a 35-year-old Somali church leader (name withheld for security) on September 20 in the neighborhood Saris in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org, says the leader, who lives in another neighborhood in Addis Ababa, went to Saris to pick up documents about the persecution of the Somali churches. The documents author, David Abdulwahab Mohamed Ali, was martyred in Somalia in April 2008 by Islamic militants.

According to the victim, he was ambushed by five Muslim men who kicked and punched him repeatedly until he fainted and fell on the ground. Even after he fainted, the men continued their assault for at least another fifteen minutes, according to the police report. The leader was taken to a clinic and is recovering. The documents are also now safe.

Religion Today Summaries

India Violence Spreads despite Christian Protests

The Christian Post reports that in spite of multiple rallies and peace demonstrations, Christians in India remain at risk as violence continues to spread throughout Orissa and several other states.

This week, a major "dharna"-an Indian method of seeking justice at the door of the debtor while fasting-has gathered participants from church leaders, ministries and Christian institutions. "I believe the Lord is going to use this event," said Gospel for Asia president Dr. K.P. Yohannan, "and I have instructed our leaders all over India to seek out other Christian leaders and meet with them and stand with them in this time of persecution." He added, "But sadly even as the dharna is going on, the situation in Orissa continues to get worse. But little is being reported to the outside world now because the media is being kept out, even as entire villages are being destroyed."

Religion Today Summaries

Five Chaplains Lose Jobs for Praying In Jesus' Name'

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is defending how his administration forced the sudden resignation of five Virginia State Police Chaplains because they prayed publicly "in Jesus' name." Police Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty single-handedly created, then enforced, a strict "non-sectarian" prayer policy at all public gatherings, censoring and excluding Christian prayers, then accepted the resignation of five chaplains who refused to deny Jesus or violate their conscience by watering down their prayers.

House Republican Leader Morgan Griffith and Delegate Charles W. Carrico, (R-Grayson) both issued public statements defending the chaplains, questioning Governor Kaine's role in the affair, and vowing to introduce legislation protecting police chaplains' right to pray according to their own conscience.

Defending Flaherty's persecution of Christian Chaplains, Governor Kaine indicated he himself was being persecuted, saying through his spokesman: "It is disappointing that Del. Griffith would make such a political attack on Gov. Kaine about his faith."

Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, who was also fired in 2007 for praying "in Jesus' name", in uniform (but won the victory in the U.S. Congress for other military chaplains), weighed in: "Governor Kaine campaigned like a Christian to get our votes. But now, instead of governing like a Christian, or respecting his own chaplains' First Amendment rights", he's pursuing a secular agenda.

Citizens are urged to call Governor Kaine's office at (804)786-2211, to ask that the chaplains be reinstated and the policy reversed, and also email him through his web-site: www.governor.virginia.gov/About TheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm.

LifeSite News

Malta, Fiji Forcefully Reject Abortion, Anti-Family Pressure at UN

At the United Nations this week the nations of Malta and Fiji issued forceful interventions in defense of the unborn and the traditional family, respectively, as the Third Committee of the General Assembly (GA) began to address agenda items for the current session.

The permanent representative of Malta, Ambassador Saviour F. Borg, stated that abortion remains illegal in his country, and "Malta firmly continues to maintain that any position taken or recommendations made regarding women empowerment and gender equality should not in any way create an obligation on any party to consider abortion as a legitimate form of reproductive health rights."

Ambassador Berenado Vunibobo of Fuji likewise put forward a strong defense of the family. Pointing to pro-family language that exists in both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he asserted the "primacy of the family structure" as the fundamental social unit and "the right of mothers and fathers to raise their children in accordance with their values and mores."The Fijian Ambassador criticized those "who would look at children's rights' in isolation from the familial context, or seek to weaken the role of mothers and fathers in the care and upbringing of children."

Malta made its statement in connection with the topic "Advancement of Women," whereas Fiji's remarks were made with respect to the "Rights of the Child." Both are areas that the GA's Third Committee, which deals with social issues, will take up in the current session, expected to run through the end of November.

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